Washington DC Imagines Itself Without Transit

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is celebrating its 35th anniversary and is finding ways to ascertain exactly what the agency has brought to the region.

The agency has been working on a study that evaluates the impact of rail and subway lines on surrounding businesses and property prices, while also modeling what the region would look like if its transit services never existed. They found that the increased road congestion would be likely to splinter the region as people regressed into localized economies and stopped crossing city or county boundaries.

The study also forecasted the effect of expanding Washington's road and freeway network to compensate for a lack of transit. This would require adding 15 mores lanes to the beltway, and providing 166 blocks of five story parking garages downtown.

Full Story: Imagining A City Without Its Public Transportation



What you get for $6 billion

The Atlantic Cities article highlights that it would cost $6 billion to build 1,000 lane-miles of highway (excluding ROW costs) around the WDC area to make up for all the use of the region's public transit.

Right now, residents of northern Virginia are looking at paying $6 billion to build 23 miles of Metrorail to the Dulles International airport.

Is this cost-effective??

Michael Lewyn's picture

only $6b?

The Atlantic's estimate seems a bit low given that just one highway in suburban Md. costs about half that much (see
http://madrad2002.wordpress.com/tag/intercounty-connector/ ). Maybe they just meant $6b per year.

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